I’ve always had a fondness for savory dishes. I remember as a kid that I would often have a stew or soup combo for my birthday dinner. And I remember thinking of that as a special treat. My mom told me that when I was tiny I would often look down at my plate and say, “There isn’t enough meat on my meal!” And I think I just really got used to my dinners being more potatoes and vegetables than anything else. My mom even told me that when I was a toddler, my favorite thing in the world to eat was broccoli stems. I was a brave and adventurous eater as a baby – I think I was born knowing that I would enjoy food.
So I think it’s a little telling that I enjoy these rabbit dishes. I grew up in a Midwestern town where people hunted for sport. And rabbits were on the menu often. But that’s just not the case where I live now. I choose not to hunt, and rabbits just aren’t an easy thing to come across here. I guess I was sort of sad when I couldn’t order them at the local place down the street anymore. But then again, I guess it’s a good thing. Meat and 4-legged friends are important to me, and I think I enjoy rabbit dishes so much because they are special.
And this rabbit dish is really special. Part of that is, of course, the rabbit. It’s an unfamiliar meat for most people, but once you try it, you might just become a big fan. It’s a very lean, tender meat. The flavor is great too. Rabbit is a bit gamey, in the best possible way. And you can serve this dish with all sorts of things. It’s good with any kind of bread, polenta, cornbread or rice too.
I like to serve this with saffron rice, and saffron is a hard to find ingredient at times, but it really makes a difference in the dish. Saffron is a bit pricey, but it’s well worth it. And I like to mix some with my butter in a pan, then saute the rabbit before I slow cook it. It makes the flavor richer.
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
- 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and corn and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the green beans, lima beans, cumin, red pepper flakes, saffron, oregano and basil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in parsley and cilantro.